Politicans and world leaders making news and in the news, and spouting hot air
To New Zealand, where Member of Parliament Ron Mark is addressing the House. The opposing benches are jeering him. He looks their way and speaks softly. What’s that? We didn’t catch it. But it was picked up loud and clear by Parliament TV’s sign language interpreter who relayed the words to viewers back home. She’s making a guest appearance as part of Sign Language Awareness Week.
And we now more aware of her skills:
Note: The New Zealand television channel TV3 was banned for three days from filming in Parliament in August 2006 for showing Mark repeatedly giving the finger to another MP.
The Mirror Group titles have been found guilty of phone hacking. We’ve been listening out for what Labour MP Chris Bryant has to say about it. When Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp was found guilty of the same, Bryant, a phone-hacking victim, was verbose and demanding:
“They argued for a long time that there were very few victims – that there was just one rogue reporter – that they had done a full investigation and all that proves to be untrue. One of my anxieties is the police didn’t do a full investigation in 2006, 2009 and 2010 when lots of people were calling for a full investigation. Consequently we still don’t know the full level of the criminality that went on at the News of the World and in fact many of the victims themselves don’t know they were involved.I think this is just the beginning of the story. I’m seeking a judicial review of the Metropolitan Police’s activity. I have a big anxiety about why the Metropolitan Police didn’t do a proper investigation themselves.”
“The next thing is, I’m writing to all the non-executive directors, including the former Spanish Prime Minister Mr Aznar and others of News Corp, to ask them what they knew, when they knew it, what actions they took to ensure that their newspaper was complying with police investigations,” Bryant told Reuters yesterday. “What did the directors do to check on what Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson said about phone hacking back in 2003, and did they know about hush money that was paid? This company has shown itself completely unable to act within the law, and if it’s not able to do that, if it’s true as the police said on Tuesday that they had deliberately thwarted the police investigation, then I think they shouldn’t have any share in a British media organisation.”
“Leave aside the original criminality of hacking people’s phones – including the victims of crime who never asked to be brought into the public domain at all – it’s the cover-up, the lies. ‘This was just one reporter,’ ‘This was just one newspaper,’ when actually we know it was endemic in the whole of News International.”
They were “drunk on power”:
“There was a major cover-up at News International which stretched right up to the very highest levels of the company, as we know even up to James Murdoch.And that, in the end, I suspect, will prove to have been the biggest crime.”
He knew where the buck stopped:
“This is designed to try and protect Rebekah Brooks, and I believe that if she had a shred of decency after what we have heard about Milly Dowler’s phone being hacked, which happened on her watch as editor, she should have resigned by now. Everything that’s been announced today just goes to show that there’s been a cover-up, that Parliament has been misled, that police have been corrupted, that police investigations were undermined. This strategy of chucking first journalists, then executives and now a whole newspaper overboard isn’t going to protect the person at the helm of the ship.”
Chris Bryant has been far less vocal about the Labour-supporting Mirror’s crimes.
If they have it their way, our MPs will control the free press.
Hacking: Will John Prescott discuss Paul Gascoigne’s £188,250 compensation in his Daily Mirror column?
Former England footballer Paul Gascoigne has been awarded £188,250 in phone-hacking damages from Mirror Group Newspapers.
Others who had their privacy unlawfully invaded by the Mirror’s titles include: Sadie Frost (£260,000), Shane Richie (£155,000), Lucy Benjamin (£157,250) Shobna Gulati (£117,500), Alan Yentob (£85,000), Robert Ashworth (£201,250) and Lauren Alcorn (£72,500).
Meanwhile, hacking victim and Labour Party stalwart John Prescott continues to write for the Labour-supporting Mirror.
In case you missed it, this is what Prescott said when Rupert Murdoch’s titles were caught hacking:
The News of the World died. The Left cheered.
Prescott and his Mirror column live on.
The Washington Post reports that suspected IRA member Prince Charles is to meet Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams to promote “reconciliation and healing”.
Charles continues to deny being a member of the IRA, Hot Gossip and The Sex Pistols.
The Sun says “Good riddance” to Hull City’s Jake Livermore who faces the “sack over drugs shame”. A routine drugs test revealed traces of cocaine in Livermore’s urine. The club suspended him. His future is uncertain. Livermore is an idiot.
But for the Sun to attack the player who took a non-performance enhancing drug that cheats only his teammates is lamentable. Cheering the idea that he should be sacked for his foolishness is weak.
Westminster Paedos: Tory MP Alexander Victor Edward Paulet Montagu secret sex crimes against children
The Times has news that an MP who abused boy in 1970s let off with a police caution.
A Conservative MP escaped prosecution for child abuse in the 1970s even though he admitted indecent assault… Victor Montagu was cautioned by police after he assured them that he would avoid contact with the victim. The disclosure will lend weight to allegations of an establishment cover-up of historical child sex abuse.
Montagu was an MP for South Dorset. That’s Alexander Victor Edward Paulet Montagu, also known as Viscount Hinchingbrooke and the Earl of Sandwich.
He indecently assaulted a boy for two years.
And he is DEAD. Of course he is. Because only the dead get judged.
The Guardian says the decision not to prosecute him was made by the Dorset and Bournemouth police force and Sir Norman Skelhorn, QC, the former head of the crown proseuction service.
Sir Norman also decided that Cyril Smith, the Liberal politican, should not face charges after eight men went to police in 1970 claiming that he had abused them. He died in 2010.
That’s was Sir Cyril Smith until he died and was duly found guilty of being a nonce.
A letter from prosecutors in 1972 said:
“The assaults, which are admitted, are not of themselves very serious, and if Mr Montagu is prepared to take the excellent advice given to him by Detective Chief Inspector [Jack] Newman and avoid any contact with the boy I do not think proceedings are called for.”
The Guardian has the facts:
The files show the boy was interviewed on 10 November 1972 after rumours that he was being sexually abused. Two officers visited Montagu at his home in Mapperton, Dorset, and interviewed him under caution. He was later charged by police with two counts of indecently assaulting a male under 16 on a number of occasions between 31 December 1970 and January 1972 and of indecently assaulting the same boy between 31 December 1971 and November 1972. He was remanded to appear at Bridport magistrates court.
But when the then chief constable of Dorset and Bournemouth, Arthur Hambleton, wrote to Skelhorn for advice on the case, prosecutors chose to give Montagu a caution instead of proceeding with a criminal trial in public.
Montagu’s son, Robert says his father abused him between the ages of seven and 11.
Robert Montagu has gone on the record.
The abuse was finally discovered when one of Robert’s sisters realised he was sharing a bath with their father. Shortly afterwards, his mother and the family doctor sat him down and questioned him. He told them everything.
Days later, he was sent back to prep school, confused and terrified that his father would go to prison. Instead, the family decided to say nothing, protecting the reputation of the family whose motto, ironically, is ‘Post Tot Naufragia Portum’ – ‘After so many shipwrecks, a haven’.
Robert says: ‘I do think we have to take this problem more seriously – pursuing people who act in this way and not allowing them to escape. It’s easy for me to say that.
‘I let my father escape, as have all my family. But we’ve got to get tougher. I particularly want families to be active in reporting. It’s a difficult thing but it must be done. You cannot have an 11-year-old telling of abuse that had reached a zenith and not act. You must make sure that person is not in a position to do the same again.’
As Robert grew older, he realised there were others. Once he saw the paperboy go into his father’s bedroom and close the door. Victor, who died in 1995 aged 88, also abused one of Robert’s schoolfriends.
Robert says: ‘I know personally of ten (victims) and I’ve spoken with most of those. They were family friends, London contacts, Dorset contacts, holiday contacts.’
You can read the story in Robert’s book A Humour Of Love. But you can’t ask his dad if it’s all true because dad is dead.
When Chuka Umunna annunced his decsiosn to stand as Labour leader, he adressed the electorate with his video:
Celebrated and attacked for his ‘slickness’, Umanna had announced his ambitions with all the finesse of a 1970s corporate training video. It was a character recalibration up there with Ed Miliband cutting a glass while chanting ‘seven sizzling sausages simmering slowly’ in diction Brian Sewell would consider ‘intimidating’.
Lord Greville Janner: a look at reporting on the beleaguered Labour peer.
Daily Mail: “Labour peer Lord Janner attended the House of Lords 634 times and voted 203 times even after his dementia diagnosis”
Alleged paedophile Lord Janner voted 203 times in the House of Lords even after he granted power of attorney to his children because of his dementia….
Why Survation and the Daily Mirror failed to publish the poll that showed the Conservatives on course for victory
The polls got it wrong. The Conservative Party won the General Election. But one poll you never saw was spot on-ish:
The polling firm Survation admitted that its final poll showed the Conservatives with a lead of 37 percent to 31 percent over the Labor Party – almost the exact final result.
Survation’s Damian Lyon’s explains:
We had flagged that we were conducting this poll to the Daily Mirror as something we might share as an interesting check on our online vs our telephone methodology, but the results seemed so “out of line” with all the polling conducted by ourselves and our peers – what poll commentators would term an “outlier” – that I “chickened out” of publishing the figures – something I’m sure I’ll always regret.
The Daily Mirror – that’s the Labour-supporting newspaper…
Lord Janner: A look at Labour peer Greville Janner and allegations that he abused children. He says he’s innocent.
Hinkley Times: “Lord Janner U-turn urged by victims’ lawyers”
Well, they would want a change in the ruling that says Genenr is too ill to stand trial. Their view is predictable. A criminal lawyer without a trial is a useless thing.
Another law firm representing alleged victims of Lord Janner has written to Britain’s most senior prosecutor in a bid to overturn the decision not to bring the former MP to trial over child sex abuse claims.
That’s Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders.
Peter Garsden, whose firm is representing three clients in a civil child abuse claim against Lord Janner, has said he wants Ms Saunders to clarify the reasons for her decision by disclosing the various reports which supported it.
Transparency is all. But she has been pretty clear already.
Liz Dux, specialist abuse lawyer at Slater and Gordon, said her firm had written to the DPP to formally request a review of the decision not to go ahead with a prosecution. Ms Dux said all her clients want is “the opportunity to give their evidence and to be heard”.
That can’t be all that they want, can it? You can be heard in the media, where you can also be judged. But you can’t be proven right.
Mr Garsden said the decision not to bring criminal charges in relation to nine victims in spite of the CPS stating there was enough evidence to merit a prosecution had left his clients “outraged”. Mr Garsden added: “We are considering the possibility of judicial review.”
Outrage we can understand.
He is now requesting documentation relating to the criminal investigations into the 86-year-old peer, and also details of the medical reports and legal opinions sought by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) prior to the announcement of its decision on April 16.
The lawyer has asked for CPS agreement to obtain his own report on Lord Janner’s mental capacity, and wants confirmation there was indeed sufficient evidence to bring criminal charges.
How likely is it that Janner’s health will be tested by representatives fo the alleged victims? The DPP is neutral. The lawyers are not.
In his letter, Mr Garsden has said:
“We would like to see all documents touching and concerning the decision not to prosecute… We wish to discount the validity of an argument that your decision is open to judicial review… Accordingly, the more evidence and documentation you can send to us, in order to justify the decision, the better… We would also like to see all documents surrounding the various attempted, but failed, investigations into Janner in the past.”
Yes. Those past documetns – such as they are – are vital.
Denied a day in court, one alleged victim speaks out.
Hinckley man Hamish Baillie waived his right to anonymity to speak out on his alleged abuse at the hands of Janner. The 47-year-old told the Daily Mail he was molested by Lord Janner during a game of hide-and-seek when he was a 15-year-old resident of a children’s home.
What 15-year-old plays hide and seek with a middle-aged man? Bit odd, no? But we don’t know for certain why, who, what and where because the judiciary won’t alaow the claism to be tested in a court of law.
Hinkley Times: “Lord Janner: Why did the the CPS decide not to prosecute and what are the options for the alleged victims now?”
What can his alleged victims do next?
Defending herself from intense scrutiny, Ms Saunders said: “If somebody wants to challenge my decision, I’m not afraid. The proper way to challenge it is through the right to review or judicial review.”
The law is the law.
Under the CPS’ Victims’ Code, introduced in 2013, the alleged victims have a right to challenge such decisions through a review by a prosecutor who was not involved in the original case. If that does not satisfy victims then they can seek a further independent review.
Finally, the alleged victims could seek a judicial review, which does not assess whether the decision was right or wrong but rather if the process leading to the decision was lawful.
What can the Goddard inquiry do in this case?
Nothing save for a spot of PR.
Justice Lowell Goddard, who heads up the parliamentary inquiry into child sex abuse, has announced she will look at the allegations and how institutions acted, probing whether there was any establishment cover up.
While she cannot determine Lord Janner is guilty, her inquiry can call witnesses and alleged victims, make findings of fact about the allegations surrounding them and publish them in public.
Meanwhile, Lord Janner’s name is being erased.
Daily Telegraph: “Israeli school removes plaque honouring Lord Janner, the peer accused of sexual abuse. The plaque honouring the Labour peer at the school in Maalot Tarshiha in Israel’s northern Galilee region was removed. The peer’s family deny the abuse allegations”
How can it be restored if there is no trial?
The Herald: “Calls for review of Lord Janner child sex abuse case”
NEARLY 400 politicians have backed calls for a reversal of the decision not to prosecute Lord Greville Janner over sex abuse allegations. The move follows claims by an alleged victim that he was subjected to serious sexual assaults by Labour peer in Scotland….
The list, which was published by the investigative journalism website Exaro prior to the election, has12 SNP politicians including newly elected MPs Alan Brown, Douglas Chapman, Martin Docherty, Drew Hendry, Paul Monaghan, Roger Mullin, John Nicolson and Tommy Sheppard. Also included is Angus MacNeil, who has been SNP MP for the Western Isles since 2005.
Brown, who now represents Kilmarnock and Loudoun, said: “Regardless of the situation there should always be justice for victims.”
Of course there should be justice for victims. That’s stating the bleedin’ obvious. It’s harder to get justice for alleged victims.
Nicolson, the newly-elected MP for East Dunbartonshire said: “I think the evidence needs to be examined in court – and believe the victims deserve to be heard.”
It all deserves to be heard in court. Now let’s join the dots:
Jon Bird, operations manager for the National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC), said they had been aware of allegations about Janner for a number of years, but could not divulge details to protect the confidentiality of victims.
“Allegations about Lord Janner have been made by many people in many different parts of the country, for a very long time,” he said.
It’s the longevity that suggests cover ups. The longevity is key. What we need tio knwo is who around now was also around then. We have the alleged victims, the alleged perpretator deemed too ill to understand ant trial and we have the police.
A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: “The investigation of child abuse, whenever or wherever it has taken place, continues to be a top priority for Police Scotland. This has been highlighted by the launch of the National Child Abuse Investigation Unit last month.
“We would urge any victim of a sexual crime to contact police. All reports are thoroughly investigated by dedicated officers, who provide specialist support to victims and target offenders to bring them to justice.”
But they say they did contact the police years ago. And the police did nothing. Which amneks us wonder if it’s the alleged offence that’s change or spinning of it by an elite under the cosh.
A woman attacked by robbers who targeted lone women has called for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to be better monitored after she claims prosecutors handled her case so poorly it felt ‘like being mugged a second time.’
Barbara Cahalane and her sister Patricia were victims of the gang dubbed ‘the Nappy Valley Muggers’ because they targeted women with children in affluent districts of south London.
Ms Calahane said she had to pressure the CPS at every turn to prosecute the gang. She says that following her experience and recent rows over CPS rulings such as the decision not to prosecute Lord Janner, she believes there should be a watchdog overseeing the work of prosecutors.
Janner has become a symbol of mistrut in high places.
Daily Telegraph: “Parents of autistic man criticise decision to prosecute him – George Ostle’s parents say if Lord Janner was not fit to stand trial then neither was their autistic son who has the mental age of a ten-year-old”
The parents of an autistic man prosecuted after lashing out at a carer have criticised the Crown Prosecution Service for bringing the case, insisting he should have been treated in the same way as Lord Janner. George Ostle, 22, was found guilty of striking a female care worker at his residential home after becoming distressed and confused following a change in his medical routine. But his parents said he should never have been charged because he has a mental age of ten and was unable to understand to legal process.
Not the same thing at all. Janner is ruled to be no risk to anyone.
Such are the facts…
Everything you needed to know about how stupid the high-brow newspapers think tabloid readers, everyone on the web and the youth are is encapsulated in an Independent headline.
This interview with Russell Brand could well win Ed Miliband the next General Election
Undaunted by the glaringly obvious conclusion that Russell Brand’s influence over the electorate is on a par with John Snow’s socks, the Indy tells its readers that Ed Miliband’s walk through his home echo chamber really mattered to the more go-head members of society:
Ed Miliband’s attempt to break the log jam by making a late-night dash to Russell Brand’s flat was the one moment which left traditional media flat-footed. His interview on Brand’s Trews YouTube channel has been watched by 1.2 million people, many of whom would never consider watching Newsnight.
How many of those 1.2 million were journalists on the social media news beat is possibly in the high hundreds of thousands. And mention of the BBC’s post-Jeremy Paxman, post- Jimmy Savile Newsnight is apt. That show’s desperation to attract a younger audience also featured the preening, anti-intellectual Brand, this time talking with the show’s Evan Davis.
It was an excruciating verbal dad-dance of BBC-sanctioned rebellion.
Brendan O’Neill saw it all:
Hilariously, the very same people who accuse the Murdoch papers of brainwashing their readers into voting for the Tories – such undiluted snobbery – believed that a celeb with a webcam and a lively Twitter presence could simply click his fingers and get the hordes voting Labour. But he couldn’t. And it isn’t hard to see why. It’s because people aren’t idiots. They want substance, seriousness, not finger-wagging gags about EVIL TORIES and instructions to ‘save Britain’ by giving the nod to Ed.
Forget middle-aged, middle-brow, David Icke-lite Russell Brand. The cool-hunting adults should invite Jake Yapp on instead – he’s cheaper and funnier:
How do readers of The Guardian live with a Tory victory in the General Eleection? That question is rhetorical The answer is: draw faces on fruit.
In today’s Daily Star, UKIP leader Nigel Farage is offering readers a free pint:
But in the Daily Express, readers just get a littler Nigel and no booze:
Are Daily Star readers so easily bought?
Russell Brand isn’t registered to vote. But he says you should vote Labour, unless you live in Brighton, where you should vote Green. Also, Scots should only vote for a Scot – “If you’re Scottish, you don’t need an English person telling what do to do…” Brand the revolutionary likes fixeed boaders and nationhood. He’s wary of foreigners. He sounds a bit UKIPy.
Also, he’s made his views known after the closing date for voter registration. So, Brandios, get in your times machines and vote soon and vote often for a UKIP-Green-Labour-SNP coalition.
What do we make of this? Helping us are the newspapers experts.
He has nearly 10 million Twitter followers; his YouTube interview with Ed Miliband received well over a million hits and counting; he is listened to by hundreds of thousands of disillusioned Britons, particularly young people who have been repeatedly kicked over the last few years. Russell Brand matters.
Sure: Russell Brand entertains.
And however much bluff and bluster the Tories now pull – maybe more playground abuse from David Cameron, who called Brand a “joke” – his endorsement of Labour in England and Wales will worry them.
More people have registered to vote than ever before: between the middle of March and the deadline to register, nearly 2.3 million registered, over 700,000 of them 24 years old or younger. In countless marginal seats, disillusioned voters who were either going to plump for a protest party or not vote at all could well decide whether we are ruled by David Cameron, George Osborne and Iain Duncan Smith for another half a decade.
They could. They could not.
Naturally, Brand’s endorsement is being portrayed as a giant U-turn, and sure enough, he has abandoned his “no vote” stance.
Anyone keen to have their beloved leader preserved as a relic, should know that the bodies of Vladimir Lenin, Ho Chi Minh, Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il are waxed and dipped in aspic by the “Mausoleum group.” Scienific American reviews their work:
To maintain the precise condition of Lenin’s body, the staff must perform regular maintenance on the corpse and sometimes even replace parts with an excruciating attention to detail. Artificial eyelashes have taken the place of Lenin’s original eyelashes, which were damaged during the initial embalming procedures. The lab had to deal with mold and wrinkles on certain parts of Lenin’s body, especially in the early years. Researchers developed artificial skin patches when a piece of skin on Lenin’s foot went missing in 1945. They resculpted Lenin’s nose, face and other parts of the body to restore them to their original feel and appearance. A moldable material made of paraffin, glycerin and carotene has replaced much of the skin fat to maintain the original “landscape” of the skin.
Come the Revolution, you can eat him…
Harvey Proctor was a Member of Parliament for Basildon and for Billericay between 1979 and 1987. He’s written on the allegations of a VIP peado cover-up. Mr Proctor is not shy of media, telling BBC Radio 4’s Today in March that he was keen to be interviewed by police as soon as possible to clear his name.
You can read about Harvey Proctor here. In 1987, Mr Proctor admitted “spanking sessions” with male prostitites.
The Press feasted off the story:
Today he writes:
In the context of recent speculation and allegations on the internet, I write this to say that I am innocent of the allegations against me and I will maintain this stance until my dying breath.
You wonder how bad it can get? You wonder what they can next come up with to make us agog. And then Ed Miliband stands in front of a large headstone. It’s the #Milimonument.
Spotter: Sam Freedman
Daily Express: “Scots police put on spot in Janner probe”
One of the Labour peer’s alleged victims claims the MP took him on a tour of Scotland in the early 1970s during which he was subjected to serious sexual assaults. He made a report at an Edinburgh police station in 1991 but the Crown Office yesterday confirmed they have never been notified.
Where is this report?
It raises fears that Scottish officers may have been ordered to drop any investigation into the politician, like their counterparts south of the Border.
The Sun (Page 8): “Paedo probe judge to check Janner claims”
Claims of his innocence?
There is to be an…inquiry into why Lord Janner was never tried in court. An inquiry is the country’s default position for anything the elite want to moralise on. A “panel” will investigate “whether the 86-year-old Labour peeer was protected by an establishment cover-up”.
This way the elite get to bury the ghosts and no-one gets hurt. It is a State-serving affront to justice.
Daily Express (page 2): “Sex abuse inquiry will review allegations against Lord Janner”
Will it be as big as the Leveson Inquiry into phone hacking and tabloid journalism? Will everyone who has ever known or worked with Janner be put on the stand? Will we see all the social workers, police and everyone who worked with Frank Beck, the LibDem councillor and convicted paedophile who ran children’s homes and lived in Braunstone, where Janner is titular Lord? Will it be televised? Will there be dawn raids and mass arrests?
Pump it up! Cameron comes out fighting
Has there ever been a worse speech than David Cameron’s ridiculous address to an audience of lucky businessmen in London?
Perhaps he has been experimenting with drugs.
Perhaps he is going through a mid-life crisis.
Lord Janner Watch: a look at Labour peer Lord Greville Janner in the media.
Daily Mirror (page 20): “Janner could still face charges over child sex”
He could. But he won’t. Tom Pettifor has an “exclusive”.
Greville Janner could still be charged with child sex offences after one of his alleged victims challenged the decision not to prosecute the former MP.
It could be changed if the CPS could prove: a) Janner does not have dementia; b) prove he is a criminal threat.
An internal review will be carried out into the ruling it was “not in the public interest” to put the peer on trial, despite evidence he had allegedly been involved in child abuse.
When Ed Miliband popped over to anti-voting comedian Russell Brand for a televised chat in the kitchen, the papers reacted. What do the tabloids make of Ed’s meeting of minds?
As ever the photos the tabloids chose to use are telling:
The Sun has Ed Miliband on its front page:
Clegg’s Arsenal, Cameron’s Aston Villa or Miliband’s Leeds United: the General Election vote for football fans
Political football is a game of own-goals. Just as a leading Aston Villa, Arsenal or Leeds United fan…
David Cameron is the latest (but probably not the last) politician to learn that football, when used as a political football, can result in an own goal.
In football parlance, it was the day the Conservatives’ gaffer became the gaffe-er. During an election meeting, the Prime Minister described our great country as a place, ‘Where you can be Welsh and Hindu and British, Northern Irish and Jewish and British, where you can wear a kilt and a turban, where you can wear a hijab covered in poppies. Where you can support Man United, the Windies and Team GB all at the same time.’